AmeriCorps VISTA Program

Saint Mary’s College of California’s AmeriCorps VISTA project, “SMC Collective Impact Hubs,” is designed to empower communities and fight poverty by expanding and deepening our collaborations with nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area.  

The VISTA Members will each have three main responsibilities.  The first is to be the point of contact and organizer between the non-profit and Saint Mary’s students, faculty, and staff who have projects at the non-profit site, such as communities service, service-learning, community-based research, and internships.  The second is to strengthen the infrastructure at each non-profit for volunteer management (training, orientation, record-keeping, etc.).  The third is a capacity-building project identified at each site. 

AmeriCorps VISTA Members are passionate and committed to their mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.  Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization.  They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities. 

 AmeriCorps VISTA Members General Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Previous community service and/or leadership experience.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Organized and detail-oriented.
  • Knowledge and experience in working with diverse populations.
  • Understanding of the mission of CILSA at Saint Mary’s and the non-profit organization.
  • Passion and interest for community development and education.
  • Valid Driver’s license and access to personal transport.

AmeriCorps VISTA Member Position Requirements

  • VISTA Members focus their efforts on building the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.
  • VISTA Members develop programs to meet a need, write grants, and recruit and train volunteers.
  • VISTA Members strengthen an organization so it can continue to serve the needs of the community once AmeriCorps VISTA support has ended.
  • VISTA Members do not provide direct services, such as tutoring children or building homes.

Community Partner Benefits …

  • Gain assistance for planning and implementation of programs and building capacity within organization and community.
  • Mentor AmeriCorps VISTA Members of the benefits, challenges, and purposes of public service work.
  • Expand your partnership with the College.

What commitments does the AmeriCorps VISTA site make?

  • Each AmeriCorps VISTA Member will have a specific job description.
  • AmeriCorps VISTA Members serve for one calendar year starting in early August.
  • Work schedules are determined between the site supervisor and AmeriCorps VISTA, typically 9am – 5pm, four days a week with one day at Saint Mary’s College.
  • AmeriCorps VISTA Members need a primary supervisor for weekly check-ins, ongoing coaching, and direction.
  • Provide cost-share payment of approximately $3,000.00
  • Your organization must have an active/updated MOU with Saint Mary's College through service learning, research internships, and other projects.

What are the site supervisor's responsibilities?

  • Conduct interviews of AmeriCorps VISTA applicants in March – May.
  • Attend AmeriCorps VISTA site breakfast meeting in May/June.
  • Schedule weekly check-in meetings with the AmeriCorps VISTA member; maintain open and frequent communication.
  • Provide the AmeriCorps VISTA Member with a thorough orientation to the site and organizational staff.
  • Provide the AmeriCorps VISTA Member with a suitable workspace and access to appropriate resources and supplies, such as computers, printers, and copy machines.
  • Communicate with the CILSA Assistant Directors if any irregularities or issues emerge (with the AmeriCorps VISTA members or the organization).
  • Attend monthly AmeriCorps meetings (in person/phone) with CILSA staff.

Timeline for 2016 – 2017 AmeriCorps VISTAs

Friday, February 26 Proposals submitted online 
Friday, March 11 Host sites selected and notified and submit Part Two of Application
Monday, March 21 VISTA Member recruitment begins
March 28 – May 19 CILSA and host site interviews with VISTA applicants
Friday, May 20 Offers accepted/declined by AmeriCorps VISTA applicants

Wednesday, May 25

Host site breakfast meeting at Saint Mary’s College
August 1 – 3 AmeriCorps VISTA Member Training 
Monday, August 8 First full week in AmeriCorps positions
Monday, August 29 First day of fall semester at Saint Mary’s College

 Questions?

Please contact Dr. Sarah Beth Dempsey (sdd4@stmarys-ca.edu or (925) 631-8543) if you have any questions about this AmeriCorps VISTA partnership and application process.

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